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NASA launches a probe to investigate the protective bubble of the solar system in 2024



  NASA will launch a probe to study the solar system's protective bubble in 2024

An illustration of NASA's Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe, a mission to study the interaction of the solar wind with the winds of other stars. It will start in 2024.

Credit: NASA

NASA will launch a new mission in 2024 to help scientists better understand the bubble that surrounds the solar system.

This huge bubble, known as the heliosphere, is created by the sun; It consists of charged solar particles and solar magnetic fields. The heliosphere protects the earth and other solar system bodies from space radiation, blocking high-energy cosmic rays that have their origin in interstellar space.

But the heliosphere boundary is far from impenetrable. The new NASA mission called the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) will collect and investigate rapidly moving particles that can overcome them. [Solar Quiz: How Well Do You Know Our Sun?]

"This limit is where our sun protects us a lot, and IMAP is critical to broadening our understanding of how this 'cosmic filter' works," says Dennis Andrucyk, deputy director of NASA Missions Administration Washington, said in a statement Friday (June 1

). "The implications of this research could go far beyond considering earthly effects if we want to send people into space."

<img class = "pure-img lazy" big-src = "https://img.purch.com/h/1400/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5zcGFjZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA3Ni84MDQvb3JpZ2luYWwvaGVsaW9zcGhlcmUtZGlhZ3JhbS5qcGc/MTUyNzkxMDEyNw==" src = "https://img.purch.com / w / 640 / aHR0cDovL3d3dy5zcGFjZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA3Ni84MDQvaTAyL2hlbGlvc3BoZXJlLWRpYWdyYW0uanBnPzE1Mjc5MTAxMjc = "alt =" diagram of the heliosphere, the protective bubble of charged particles and magnetic fields that surround the solar system. 19659009] diagram of the heliosphere, the protective bubble of charged particles and magnetic fields that surround the solar system

Source: Southwest Research Institute

IMAP was selected from a stable of candidate proposals submitted late last year, which will launch the Earth-Sun Lagrange Point 1, a gravitationally stable space-based orbiting space of about 1, 5 million kilometers from our planet.

IMAP will use 10 scientific instruments on board to characterize the particles that pass through this neighborhood. Such work should illuminate the interaction between the interstellar medium and the solar wind – the stream of charged particles that are constantly flowing from the sun – and help researchers better understand how cosmic rays are accelerated in the heliosphere, NASA officials said.

Many of us take the sun for granted and do not think much about it until it burns our skin or gets into our eyes. But our star is a fascinating and complex object, a gigantic fusion reactor that gives us life. How much do you know about the sun?

  This image, taken on March 10, 2012 by the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), shows an active region on the Sun, visible as a bright spot on the right. Proven AR 1429, the spot has so far produced three X-Class flares and numerous M-Class flares.

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The cost of the mission is limited to $ 492 million, not including the launcher. The IMAP project leader is David McComas of Princeton University. The mission is led by the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University in Laurel, Maryland.

IMAP is the fifth mission of NASA's Solar Terrestrial Probes program. The other four are the Mission Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED), which was launched in December 2001; Hinode, a collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, which started in September 2006; the Observatory for Earth Observation (STEREO), a joint mission with the European Space Agency, launched in October 2006; and the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, launched in March 2015.

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+ . Follow us @SpaceTotcom Facebook or Google+ . Originally published on Space.com .


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